How To Play Futsal and Why You Should Play It


Futsal is blowing up as players fall in love with this exciting indoor game.

In October, we met with one of the most successful futsal coaches in U.S. history and talked to him about the growth of the sport. Keith Tozer told Bownet that players love the high scoring, constant action and rapid pace of the game. Its growth will continue as athletes discover this fun, skillful sport.


Skyscraper futsal shot

(Futsal field on top of a Tokyo sky-scraper)


About Futsal

Speaking generally, this FIFA-sanctioned game is an indoor version of soccer with a few key differences. For one thing, the court scales down the traditional field, has no walls on the sides and is close in size to a basketball court. Additionally, you'll spot fewer players on the field - just five on five. The futsal ball, meanwhile, is smaller and harder with less bounce.

More importantly, for a number of decades, futsal has offered an indoor environment for players to grow and refine their skills. Outside the U.S., these moves can be seen on the outdoor pitch.

History of Futsal

Although futsal has its biggest proponents and fanbase in Brazil, its history dates back to the 1930s in Uruguay. There, Juan Carlos Ceriani created a version of indoor soccer to be played in Montevideo's YMCAs.

Its name is a portmanteau of "futbol" and "salon" or "sala," based on where you are in the world. FIFA acknowledged the success of futsal in the 1980s, approving it as an official form of indoor soccer.

Importance of Futsal

Futsal has seen its popularity grow steadily over the past few decades and more recently in the U.S. for a number of reasons, including:

  • The smaller size encourages stronger, more concentrated soccer technique from better ball control to playing without walls and acknowledging the field's boundaries.
  • Players have to be conscious of where they're kicking, considering the field's size and number of individuals present. Instead, those who want to play futsal well have to develop passing skills and be able to maneuver in a smaller area.
  • With greater attention being played to concussions and head injuries in soccer, futsal presents a safer alternative that eliminates potential wall collisions.

How To Play Futsal

How Many Players in Futsal

Futsal is played with five players on each side. The indoor field is smaller than a soccer field and is played on a hard surface that measures 25-42 m long x 15-25 m wide. There are no walls - only lines. The futsal ball is smaller than a soccer ball, creating far less bounce.

Futsal Rules

General Laws, Rules and Regulations

  • There are two 20 minute halves.
  • Players cannot touch the ball with their arms or hands (let's hope you knew this one).
  • The goalie can only play the ball for four seconds in their own half, and cannot touch the ball another time in their half unless touched first by the opponent.
  • Each team has a one minute time out per half when the ball is in their possession.
  • Substitutions can be made on the fly.
  • If the game is tied at the end, it's sudden death rule.  The first team to score in overtime wins.
  • If the ball hits the ceiling, it is out of bounds.
  • Free kicks are awarded when another team pushes, touches, trips or holds the ball.


Futsal Regulations and Rules


Why You Should Play Futsal

You may be wondering why you should give the game a try. Futsal lures many everyday soccer players to the indoor fields as well as other athletes looking for a new game.
It remains the only indoor game sanctioned by FIFA.

  • Futsal players often credit the game for increasing their skill and technique. Since there are no walls, you will be forced work on ball control and touch.
  • Futsal players have a much smaller team with only five opponents on the field meaning they must learn to work with each player on a higher level.
  • For the same reason as above, each player gets more touches on the ball and gets to work on their foot skills at a much higher rate than on a regular 11-a-side game. If the ball is not at your feet, because there are only four other teammates you are still forced to be ultra-focused on the play because the ball can come back right at you at any moment.
  • Players must make quick decisions to keep the ball in play. There is constant excitement as the game is more fast paced than regular soccer and often has higher scores keeping even the spectators more entertained.

We're sure you can come up with countless of other reasons to play, but we think the ones above are great reasons to get you excited and get you started!


Futsal Moves


How To Get Started

Search for leagues in your area beginning with contacting the State Futsal Association. Go to US Futsal to register as a coach and for new teams.

Over 12 million players are registered to play Futsal across the globe. Over 110,000 of these players are in the US. Futsal continues to rapidly spread as more players join the fast, fun sport. Young players, coaches and distinguished soccer players fall in love with it as they learn more about the game and see what it can do for them.

Futsal is also getting more of a national spotlight as these players bring it to their hometown recreation centers. The Olympic games is next on the checklist and the future for this exciting, skillful game of Futsal is limitless!


Argentina Futsal champions 2016

(The most recent 2016 FIFA Futsal champs, Argentina)


Official FIFA Sized Portable Futsal Goals

You guys now know how to play futsal, why you should play it and how to get started. Next step, get yourself, team, league or rec center some portable Futsal goals!

Bownet manufactures the best official FIFA-sized (2m X 3m) portable Futsal goal. Here are a few features of the Bownet Futsal goal:

  • Bownet's EAS® technology (Energy Absorption System®) diffuses ball energy throughout the goal to extend its lifespan, give more stability and balance, and add flexibility upon impact.
  • BOW™ Poles and powder-coated telescoping frame are constructed to distribute goal weight across the bottom base.
  • This futsal goal sets up in 120 seconds without the use of tools, guide wires or heavy steel crossbars, giving you a quick setup, take down time and reducing the risk of injury during games and practice.

Check out the official product page to learn more and we really hope that you're inspired to get out there and play!


FUtsal Goals

You may also like

View all
Example blog post
Example blog post
Example blog post